A walkthrough guide to building yourself a Linux system for coding

In any technical role it is important to strike the balance between getting-things-done-quickly and knowing-all-the-details, and this is especially true when it comes to building computer systems. You can find lots of different Linux distributions to download, and most have a relatively easy system for adding components or software via some kind of package manager. … Continue reading A walkthrough guide to building yourself a Linux system for coding

Poker: become an ‘informed’ beginner

Introductory poker texts generally aim to take you from beginner- to intermediate-level. Instead, this post aims to spell out a few key messages that will take you from absolute beginner to informed beginner. It is a quick way to help you appreciate what poker is really about. If you dabble with online playing it should … Continue reading Poker: become an ‘informed’ beginner

What do normal subgroups look like?

I am in the process of writing a longer post on Galois Theory (see here), and one of the central concepts is that of a normal subgroup. We all know the definition (and their equivalents) from classes/books, but anyone who likes to 'see their mathematics' is left with the question: ... but what do they … Continue reading What do normal subgroups look like?

Are our models too complex?

Gillian Tett is a well-respected writer for the Financial Times and frequently picks up the topic of complexity in financial markets. In a recent article (see here) she makes a case that the era of number crunching is over, and that the world of investments is back again firmly in the domain of human relationships … Continue reading Are our models too complex?

The efficient frontier for financial modelling

There is a trade off between the explanatory powers of a model and its complexity: the more a model explains, the more complex it will be. Would you disagree with that? Before you answer, let me make a claim: Mathematics is about revealing patterns that simplify. The mathematician's work is actually based on producing simplicity, … Continue reading The efficient frontier for financial modelling

Understanding the credit crisis

In an earlier post (see here) I put a link to an online book that explains all the main concepts of economics in terms of the classic 'Island Economy'. If you think about it in theoretical terms, this book is a 'proof' that the Island Economy is a sufficiently rich model into which many important … Continue reading Understanding the credit crisis

Economics book with cartoons, online for free!

I'm on a roll with Economics, getting through books and articles at a tremendous rate. But this one is a gem. Written by Irwin Schiff (read about him on Wikipedia do), it's available hereĀ as a free-to-download pdf. His sons Peter & Andrew have published their own version of the story which reflects historical events more … Continue reading Economics book with cartoons, online for free!